top charities

Think of our list as a "best of".  The list of charities below is compiled of the organizations that meet the highest standards by both of the most respected charity watchdogs in the US: CharityWatch and Charity Navigator.  CharityWatch rates on a grade scale from F to A+, while Charity Navigator rates on a system of 1 to 4 stars.  Every one on our list has both a grade of A or above and 3-4 stars.

A few exceptions were made to provide more options in categories where our criteria wasn't fully met.  These are marked with an asterisk (*).

Read more about CharityWatch and Charity Navigator at the bottom of the page.



MISSION
The mission of CharityWatch, a nonprofit charity watchdog and information service, is to maximize the effectiveness of every dollar contributed to charity by providing donors with the information they need to make more informed giving decisions.

Methodology
CharityWatch analysts perform in-depth evaluations of complex charity financial reporting, including audited financial statements, tax forms, annual reports, state filings, and other documents. Once our analysis of a charity is complete, and any required adjustments are made, we perform two end calculations, then assign the charity a letter grade efficiency rating on an A+ to F scale.

Read a more in-depth description here.

MISSION
Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving. By guiding intelligent giving, we aim to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation's and the world's most persistent challenges.

Methodology
At Charity Navigator, we believe that there are three dimensions of a charity’s operations that an informed charitable giver/social investor needs to consider when selecting a charity to support. Today, we rate charities by evaluating two of these: Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency. Our ratings show donors how efficiently we believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time, and their level of commitment to being accountable and transparent. In the not-too-distant future, we plan to rate charities’ Results Reporting. We provide these ratings so that donors can make intelligent giving decisions, and so that the philanthropic community can more effectively monitor itself.

Read a more in-depth description here.